My interest in amateur radio goes way back to when I was a kid growing up here in South Texas. My uncle (actually a much older cousin who my dad helped raise after his mom passed away) was a ham radio operator. He fixed radios and TV’s from his ham shack for a living. My dad and I would visit every now and then and we would sit there while he worked on a TV or used the radios. I gained a real interest in electronics during that time ( I was about 10 years old). At some point during this time I visited my first Radio Shack in downtown Brownsville. I managed to talk my dad into buying me one of their 100-in-1 electronics projects kits and spent a lot of time building buzzers, and crystal radios and other gizmos over and over again.
My interest in radio continued after we bought a basic Magnavox portable radio. This reciever (which I still have and still works) was very basic. It has AM/FM as well as a SW (4-12Mhz)) , police & Air bands. This was really fun to listen to. SW could bring in just about anywhere. The air band was largely dead (no nearby airports) but the police band would be active even for my small town.
At some point, I wanted to try and get my license. I started practicing Morse code but never really got very far. About this time the CB radio craze started and we jumped in with both feet. My dad had a radio for his car that we would setup and use only when traveling out of town. I would set it up in my room as a base station otherwise. It seemed like everyone was talking on the CB in those days.
We were talking to my uncle one afternoon when he mentioned he knew a fellow ham that was looking to sell his receiver. Dad and I went over there and ended up buying an Allied A-2516. Hooked this up to a long wire outside my window and I could hear SSB voice for the first time. I had this radio for a few years before we lent it to my Uncle.
Never did get my license back then. It just seemed like it would be too difficult to get. Even if I could become proficient in learning code, I would have to start with a Novice license and travel all the way to Corpus Christi to take the exam. I moved on but never lost the interest. I ended up getting my degree in Electrical Engineering. I credit a lot of this to the support of my parents and to my uncle for introducing me to technology way before it was cool.